The phenomenon of human mobility in the world has been continuous and recurrent. In the course of five centuries, millions of people have moved from one place to another, fleeing from wars, xenophobia and economic crises, the result of struggles between power groups for the appropriation of capital. Europeans came to our soil from the colonial era, and after independence, communities from various regions of the world immigrated.
Historical studies have contributed little to the phenomenon of immigration to Ecuador in the period between wars; almost nothing had been said until now, the arrival of Jews, who were forced into a diaspora, to escape German Nazism and Italian fascism, regimes that propagated xenophobic and anti-Semitic policies, driven by imperialist economic efforts.
To refresh the memory and fill historical gaps comes the book: The Jewish Migration in Ecuador, Science, Culture and Exile (1933-1945), by the historian Daniel Kersffeld, a text that reveals two realities missing in the national memory. The first refers to the formation of an Ecuadorian opening policy, with selective visa, to attract labor and capital with the objective of increasing agricultural production. The second, evidence the extraordinary contribution of a group of enlightened Jews who came to the country between 1933 and 1945 and influenced in a decisive way in the development of avant-garde art, physical, chemical and social sciences from their status as teachers and researchers.
Universities, or entrepreneurs from different industries, one of them LIFE, leader in chemical-pharmaceutical production.
In my opinion, the question of Jewish migration to Ecuador has both the purpose of recovering a memory, and that of installing in the social conscience the idea of a universal city, whose principle is enunciated in our national constitution, since also Ecuadorians We have been migrants.
When you write history from a “place”, be it academic or your own. Professor Kersffeld’s work shows a singular method and academic rigor, but it also shows the imprint of the one who has been a migrant from Argentina to Ecuador, his second homeland, where he highlights invaluable contributions as a historian. (I)